valence

Black professionals hold 12% of entry-level corporate jobs, but just 7% of management roles, according to McKinsey & Co. A major reason why is they often do not get enough mentoring and support and end up leaving the workforce before they advance.

Valence, a venture-backed platform to help Black professionals network and climb the corporate ladder, announced Thursday its latest effort to close the gap. Called BONDS, it is a membership-based community to provide mentoring from some of the top names in tech including Upfront Ventures Managing Partner Mark Suster, Y Combinator CEO Michael Siebel and Bonita Stewart, VP Global Partnerships at Google.

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The pandemic and social unrest of 2020 accelerated change at a rapid pace for individuals, corporations and communities, L.A. business and tech leaders said during a virtual panel discussion. They predicted 2021 will be an opportunity for tech growth.

Upfront Managing Partner Mark Suster, Valence co-founder and COO Emily Slade and entrepreneur, athlete and investor Baron Davis spoke to dot.LA during its final Strategy Session event of the year. The challenges of 2020 were a common theme.

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The L.A. tech and startup community was active as ever this week. dot.LA chief host and correspondent Kelly O'Grady takes you through the key points of the top five headlines:

  • Green Rush: The Incredible Rise and Fall of L.A.'s Genius Fund
  • How the WeChat Ban Could Ripple Through California Tech
  • Ridesharing App HopSkipDrive Announces Layoffs
  • Watertower Ventures Closes $50M Second Fund
  • With $5.25M Boost, Valence Aims to Redefine How Black Professionals Connect
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